More importantly, Mahathir says there is no evidence of him ever committing a corrupt act. But then there is. There is a document that proves Rafidah, the Minister of Trade and Industry, approved shares to Mahathir’s son on the specific instructions of Mahathir himself. And this document was revealed on 6th November 1999 during a press conference at PKR’s party headquarters in Menara Phileo Damansara.  

Rafidah Aziz is Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s greatest ally. When on 22nd June 2002 Mahathir announced he was resigning, Rafidah leaped to her feet, broke the heel of her high-heel shoes, and ran bawling and wailing to Mahathir to persuade him to stay on.

Anyway, one-and-a-half months later, on 7th August 2002, the then PKR Youth Leader, Mohd Ezam Mohd Nor, was sentenced to two years jail for violating the Official Secrets Act (READ THE NEWS ITEM BELOW).

“What are we going to do without you?” screamed Rafidah with tears flowing because she had just broken the heel of her Jimmy Choo shoes

What many may have forgotten, or did not know, is that Ezam held a press conference on 6th November 1999 at the PKR (then called PKN) party headquarters in Menara Phileo Damansara. During that press conference, Ezam showed the reporters a document that was protected under the Official Secrets Act (OSA). Just like in the case of Rafizi Ramli, Ezam thought he was playing the role of whistleblower whereas he was actually committing a crime under the OSA.

Ezam exposed Mahathir’s and Rafidah’s corruption and went to jail for two years

The document that Ezam showed the reporters was the Minutes of the Meeting held in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which Rafidah Aziz, as Minister, chaired. The meeting was about the allocation of shares and amongst those names on the list of shares to be approved was the name of Rafidah’s son-in-law.

Rafidah was accused of conflict of interest, or maybe even corruption, for chairing a meeting to allocate shares to her own son-in-law. Rafidah, however, argued that while she did chair the meeting, when the committee discussed the allocation of shares to her son-in-law, she left the room and came back only after the committee had finished discussing the matter.

Since Rafidah was the chairperson of the meeting, surely the committee would be intimidated and would not dare reject the shares to her son-in-law although she stepped out for a brief moment? After all, she is not known as the ‘Iron Lady’ for nothing. We used to joke that Rafidah regrets being born a woman or else she and not Mahathir would have been the Prime Minister.

Rafidah, the ‘AP Queen’, said Mahathir asked her to approve shares to his son

Rafidah should not have chaired that meeting at all instead of stepping out only when the committee discussed the approval of shares to her son-in-law. Rafidah, however, defended her actions by saying that she was forced to chair that meeting because the committee was also discussing the approval of shares to Mahathir’s son and Mahathir had instructed her to make sure that the committee approved those shares to his son.

In short, Mahathir had told Rafidah to make sure that the shares to his son is approved. So Rafidah was forced to chair the meeting to make sure the committee approves the shares to his son. And the Minutes of the Committee Meeting approving the shares to Mahathir’s son and Rafidah’s son-in-law were revealed by Ezam during the 6th November 1999 press conference at the party headquarters in Menara Phileo Damansara. And because of that, on 7th August 2002, Ezam was sentenced to two years jail.

Ezam said he is a mere whistleblower. Ezam said Mahathir and Rafidah should both be arrested and should be sent to jail for corruption. Malaysia’s laws, however, say that Ezam is not a whistleblower but instead broke the law under the OSA. And Ezam, instead, was sent to jail for two years.

Mahathir used threats of jail against those who opposed him or those who exposed his wrongdoings

And these are laws that existed at the time when Mahathir was Prime Minister and Anwar Ibrahim the Deputy Prime Minister. In fact, the law is called the Official Secrets Act 1972 (Akta Rahsia Rasmi 1972).

In 1972, Tun Razak Hussein was the Prime Minister. When Tun Hussein Onn took over in 1976 he did not repeal the OSA. The same thing happened when Mahathir took over in 1981 and when Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over in 2003. Anwar also did not complain about the OSA when he joined the government in 1982 or when he became the Deputy Prime Minister in 1993.

More importantly, Mahathir says there is no evidence of him ever committing a corrupt act. But then there is. There is a document that proves Rafidah, the Minister of Trade and Industry, approved shares to Mahathir’s son on the specific instructions of Mahathir himself. And this document was revealed on 6th November 1999 during a press conference at PKR’s party headquarters in Menara Phileo Damansara.


Ezam slapped with two-year jail term for violating OSA

Malaysiakini, 7 Aug 2002

Keadilan Youth chief Mohd Ezam Mohd Nor was sentenced to two years’ jail by the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court today after being found guilty of committing an offence under the Official Secrets Act.

Sessions court judge Wan Afrah Wan Ismail said the punishment meted out was appropriate and in the interest of the public.

She added that Ezam’s defence team, comprising Zainur Zakari and Raja Aziz Addrusse, failed to prove that the accused did not contravene the OSA.

“After hearing the evidence of the accused and the witnesses and the submission by the two parties the court finds that the accused failed to show reasonable doubt in his charges.

“The accused in his defence admitted to having a press conference on Nov 6, 1999 to expose the corruption and abuse of power by International Trade and Industry minister Rafidah Aziz and former Melaka chief minister Rahim Thamby Chik and he knew and was sure that those documents were official secrets but still took the risk,” said the judge.

Mahathir used Rafidah to approve shares to his sons

Ezam was charged under Section 8(1) of the OSA and carries a mandatory jail sentence of not less than one year and not more than seven. He is to serve the two-year sentence at the Kajang prison.

The Keadilan leader, who is currently undergoing a two-year Internal Security Act detention at the Kamunting Detention Centre in Perak, remained calm when the sentence was read out.

Ezam and five others were detained under the security law last year for allegedly planning to overthrow the government through militant means, a charge which they have denied.

Speaking to reporters later, the deputy public prosecutor Vong Poh Fah said Ezam will be sent to the Kajang prison to serve his sentence.

“As for his detention under the ISA in Kamunting, we are still awaiting instructions from the Home Ministry,” said Vong.

At the end of the trial, Ezam was allowed to meet his family for an hour before being taken away. His children, Tihani, 9, Mohd Hasif, 5 and Mohd Haris, 4, held placards which read, “Our father is a hero and we love you”.

Courtroom scuffle

Meanwhile, a scuffle erupted inside the courtroom between police personnel and Ezam’s supporters when they attempted to hug him after the verdict was read.

Ezam’s spectacles was broken in the commotion. However, no arrests were made.

The supporters also jeered at the judge calling her ‘evil and unjust’, and refused to stand when she entered and exited the room.

Earlier when mitigating the sentence, Vong said there had been no strong mitigation shown by Ezam’s counsel and it was clear he had plans to expose the documents.

Ezam was alleged to have leaked the Anti-Corruption Agency’s investigation papers regarding the two politicians during a press conference at the Keadilan headquarters in Menara Phileo Damansara. He claimed trial two months later on Jan 14, 2000.

“He was not repentant even in his testimony and took the opportunity to hurl accusations against certain quarters.

“As the leader of a political party he should have adhered to the laws of the country and thus should be given the harshest punishment,” said Vong.

Ezam’s counsel, Zainur replied that it was the responsibility of a good citizen to show the wrongdoing of the government.

“Also the information contained in the documents have already been debated in Parliament and were publicised in the press,” he said.

Ezam to appeal

About 100-odd supporters gathered outside the courthouse and began chanting ‘reformasi’ and ‘ Allahuakhbar ‘ (God is great) when Ezam emerged from the building.

More than 50 Federal Reserve Unit and other police personnel stood watch while a water-cannon truck was also stationed nearby.

Also present at the hearing were Keadilan president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and other party leaders, DAP chairperson Lim Kit Siang and PAS leader Mohammad Sabu.

According to his lawyer, Ezam will file an appeal soon

WRITER –Raja Petra Kamarudin